The Morning Read: Spielberg and Jackson's Tintin makes his CGI debut
Plus John Carpenter's directing 'Darkchylde'
Welcome to The Morning Read.
Wow. So that's what Tintin looks like.
Empire's been teasing this for the last week, revealing these individual panels, never saying exactly what it was they were teasing. Their readers had it figured quickly, though, and over on Bleeding Cool, they've been trying to sort out the panels as they've been revealed, confident that the eventual reveal would be one of the great iconic Tintin images, he and his dog Snowy running along a wall while a spotlight shines on them. Sure enough, that's the cover of the next issue of the magazine, and my first reaction is that Tintin is incredibly realistic and that the world looks incredibly beautiful and the whole thing is… strange.
That's a natural first reaction, though. The other day, I had lunch with Alex Dorn, who posts articles here on the blog now, and we were talking about how he and I both great up with Tintin, which isn't a common American thing. In my case, I had a next-door neighbor and best friend whose parents were from Germany, and they had all the Tintin books in the house. In his case, he grew up overseas, where Tintin is a much bigger deal. And as we discussed the upcoming Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson collaboration on bringing Tintin to the bigscreen, the big question was still "What will it look like?" I told him what I'd heard from the WETA Digital people, and now that I've seen the three stills that Empire is running, I'm not sure it looks at all like I thought it would.
I guess I was expecting something that looked and felt like the books exactly, like an actual animated 3D version of Herge's drawing. That's what I'd heard. And I guess you could make the case that what they revealed today is indeed a 3D version of Herge's drawing, but they've taken it right up to the line of the uncanny valley, and the results are fascinating. Jamie Bell is playing Tintin, and that's Andy Serkis in the photo at the top of this article, playing Captain Haddock. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play Thompson and Thomson, and I can't wait to see the two of them in action. Daniel Craig is onboard as Red Rackham, who becomes even more important in Peter Jackson's sequel to this film. If you're in the UK, you'll see the first film, "The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn" on October 26 of next year, while those of us in the US get to wait until December 28. Looks like I'll be aiming for a little UK travel near the start of November, eh?
Want to read the "Toy Story 3" script? Legally?
If you heard my last podcast, then you know that Devin Faraci's on the road right now with "Four Lions," and he's been keeping an on-the-road diary, day two of which you really should check out.
Alan Howarth put together a mix tape of John Carpenter music for a podcast called "Resident Advisor." If you know who Howarth is, then you automatically understand that you must listen to this podcast. Now. Because it is flat out nerd heaven.
I'll give this to Jezebel… this is the first piece I've seen that adds something to the story about why Zach Galifianakis was unhappy about Mel Gibson appearing in "The Hangover 2," and I think it's a solid piece of reporting. By the way, did everyone realize that Mike Tyson's actually coming back for the sequel?
Oh, you can scoff, but we're just starting to crack the story of time travel evidence in old movies.
By the way, speaking of my favorite horror filmmaker, John Carpenter's going back to work on a bigscreen adaptation of "Darkchylde," and what evidently helped convince him was the test footage that's actually been bouncing around online for a few months now. If you haven't seen it, WETA did a proof-of-concept test to show how the main character's transformations might work. I'm not familiar with the book at all, as its part of the comic book era that I sat out in disgust. It might be a great book for all I know. It's just going to be exciting to see Carpenter trying something very different than most of his filmography.
Look, I've heard some loose talk about Garrett Hedlund's work in "TRON: Legacy," but until I see him in the finished film, that's all it is. Loose talk. I certainly don't think you can fairly judge an entire performance from a few minutes of trailer footage, but I think Hedlund is already positioned to be the whipping boy of this particular blockbuster. We'll see soon enough.
Have you seen the nightmare that is the costume design from Tim Burton's proposed "Superman Lives"? Steve Johnson, a very talented designer, posted photos of the work he did on Facebook, and I'm sure he perfectly executed what Burton asked for. The problem is that what Burton asked for was completely insane, and no doubt caused Warner Bros. executives to black out in fear when they first saw it. Want to know why Burton didn't make his Superman movie? I'd say these photos answer that question, loud and clear.
As California gets ready to vote on Prop 19 tomorrow, why not enjoy Ben Stiller's mom and dad, the great comedy team of Stiller and Meara, talking about the wacky tobaccy?
Now that the madness of the Lisbeth Salander casting search is over, how about we start it all over again, but for Daisy Buchanan?
Bryan Theiss is a brilliant man. His brilliance goes unsung most of the time, which is why it's worth celebrating this deranged mash-up of R. Kelly and Lando Calrissian, the result of a few years worth of occasional effort. Awesome:
I mentioned James Franco and his proclivity of performance art in my "127 Hours" piece this morning. Like I was saying…
This is like a Bigfoot sighting.
Finally, I'll leave you with this piece, which examines the idea of coming to peace with an icon that never dies. Good stuff, and really well-observed.
On that note, I'm out the door on my way to the "Scott Pilgrim" Blu-ray event, and then I'll be back with a "Megamind" review for you tonight. Keep those "Scott Pilgrim" contest entries coming in. You guys are making me laugh non-stop right now, and I love it.
"The Morning Read" appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, except when it doesn't.
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